What is my native language?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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spectral_sequence
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:15 am

What is my native language?

Post by spectral_sequence » Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:30 pm

I’m a bit confused about what I should choose as my native language. I grew up in a country where english is not an official language. But the main language of communication at home with my parents is English. My parents are of indian descent. I can barely speak their native language.

Which of these would you say is my native language? English, local language of country I grew up in or native language of my parents?

jjmb11
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:09 pm

Re: What is my native language?

Post by jjmb11 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:45 pm

I would consider it to be the primary language you communicate in or the language used over the course of your education. Don't put a language you aren't fluent in, and if you are equally fluent in English and another language a lot of applications have a spot to put that. I'd put it on your CV as well.

MathParent
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: What is my native language?

Post by MathParent » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:29 pm

spectral_sequence wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:30 pm
I’m a bit confused about what I should choose as my native language. I grew up in a country where english is not an official language. But the main language of communication at home with my parents is English. My parents are of indian descent. I can barely speak their native language.

Which of these would you say is my native language? English, local language of country I grew up in or native language of my parents?
Judging from this, you put English as your first language. The rest of the languages can go into other slots. Do not complicate things for yourself! The minute you claim English s not your first language, you will have to take TOEFFL.

yaskhn3
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:23 pm

Re: What is my native language?

Post by yaskhn3 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:55 am

Well, if you go by the TOEFL waiver policy of universities, they grant a waiver if you're a US citizen, or did your schooling in a country where English is both the main mode of education and common use.

I would advise you to contact universities immediately and confirm this, but speaking from my own experience, you will need to take TOEFL if you don't have a bachelor's degree or higher from an English speaking country.

pizzakun
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:27 am

Re: What is my native language?

Post by pizzakun » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:46 am

MathParent wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:29 pm
spectral_sequence wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:30 pm
I’m a bit confused about what I should choose as my native language. I grew up in a country where english is not an official language. But the main language of communication at home with my parents is English. My parents are of indian descent. I can barely speak their native language.

Which of these would you say is my native language? English, local language of country I grew up in or native language of my parents?
Judging from this, you put English as your first language. The rest of the languages can go into other slots. Do not complicate things for yourself! The minute you claim English s not your first language, you will have to take TOEFFL.
I agree with you that it will make our applications smoother as international students.

But wouldn't the application reviewer judges our honesty if we are obviously from a country with a majority of population speaking a non-English language, and that we put down "native language: English"? Just wondering. Maybe I"m just overthinking. :(

pkzrd
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:43 pm

Re: What is my native language?

Post by pkzrd » Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:42 pm

pizzakun wrote:
Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:46 am
MathParent wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:29 pm
spectral_sequence wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:30 pm
I’m a bit confused about what I should choose as my native language. I grew up in a country where english is not an official language. But the main language of communication at home with my parents is English. My parents are of indian descent. I can barely speak their native language.

Which of these would you say is my native language? English, local language of country I grew up in or native language of my parents?
Judging from this, you put English as your first language. The rest of the languages can go into other slots. Do not complicate things for yourself! The minute you claim English s not your first language, you will have to take TOEFFL.
I agree with you that it will make our applications smoother as international students.

But wouldn't the application reviewer judges our honesty if we are obviously from a country with a majority of population speaking a non-English language, and that we put down "native language: English"? Just wondering. Maybe I"m just overthinking. :(
I think you guys are overthinking about this - just put down whatever language you've been speaking since pre-k, most schools only use this for assigning TA duties anyway

@pizzakun - I like how your school list is a proper subset of mine. Did you by any chance cross register for number theory 2 and are always late by 5-10 minutes?

pizzakun
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:27 am

Re: What is my native language?

Post by pizzakun » Wed Dec 09, 2020 5:50 am

pkzrd wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:42 pm
pizzakun wrote:
Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:46 am
MathParent wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:29 pm

Judging from this, you put English as your first language. The rest of the languages can go into other slots. Do not complicate things for yourself! The minute you claim English s not your first language, you will have to take TOEFFL.
I agree with you that it will make our applications smoother as international students.

But wouldn't the application reviewer judges our honesty if we are obviously from a country with a majority of population speaking a non-English language, and that we put down "native language: English"? Just wondering. Maybe I"m just overthinking. :(
I think you guys are overthinking about this - just put down whatever language you've been speaking since pre-k, most schools only use this for assigning TA duties anyway

@pizzakun - I like how your school list is a proper subset of mine. Did you by any chance cross register for number theory 2 and are always late by 5-10 minutes?
Lol small world. I usually bike or take the T, Mass Ave is longer than it looks.

Maybe we'll end up in the same program who knows, nevertheless best of luck to you. :D

Cyclicduck
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:55 pm

Re: What is my native language?

Post by Cyclicduck » Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:16 pm

Mine is English!



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